As a hub for the Linked Learning movement, the Alliance offers research, stories, and tools that help people understand the impact of Linked Learning and implement this approach at high levels of quality.
SRI’s seventh annual evaluation report on the progress of the California Linked Learning District Initiative differs from previous evaluation reports in that it is designed to be comprehensive and summative, rather than focusing on new developments in the initiative or policy context. With 2013–14 marking the final year of funding for the initiative, this report provides updated findings on student engagement and achievement outcomes, including initial enrollment and persistence in postsecondary education. In addition, this report provides final lessons learned from the experiences of the initiative districts; their successes and challenges with Linked Learning systems implementation over the past 7 years; and their plans for expanding and sustaining Linked Learning while maintaining pathway quality and fidelity to the Linked Learning approach.
Full realization of the Linked Learning approach requires the support of a coherent set of school district human resource and student enrollment policies as well as infrastructure for work-based learning placements. Leaders in the nine demonstration districts identified the key district-specific implementation strategies below as crucial to establishing and sustaining Linked Learning.
This sixth-year evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative offers findings on student high school graduation and college eligibility. It also examines districts’ progress in expanding pathway access and ensuring equity, looking at patterns in student enrollment and persistence in pathways. Finally, it explores the influence of regional expansion efforts on districts’ progress in developing work-based learning systems, their relationships with postsecondary institutions, and their plans for expanding and sustaining Linked Learning while maintaining pathway quality and fidelity. Lessons gained from the experiences of the nine initiative districts are highly instructive for new regional collaborations that are just beginning to engage with or scale up Linked Learning.
SRI’s evaluation of the California Community College Linked Learning Initiative (CCCLLI) addressed implementation issues and institutional and student outcomes work by three community colleges and partnering K–12 districts to use the Linked Learning approach (e.g., transitional support strategies, align high school and college career pathway programs of study, enhance student support services) to improve college transitions and success. Each college created pathways in different industry sectors and built on its own programmatic strengths.
By combining academic and technical instruction, Linked Learning has proven to be a powerful approach to education—creating a relevant and engaging learning environment and, most importantly, preparing students with the range of 21st Century skills needed for success in college and career.
Despite the known benefits of Linked Learning, negative perceptions about career and technical education still exist. Shifting to this new paradigm requires more than redesigning school structures to incorporate Linked Learning pathways and legislating policies that provide needed resources. It also requires societal shifts in attitudes and beliefs.
This brief offers recommendations for classroom practices that will enable the effective integration of core academic and career technical subjects that can truly prepare students for college and career.
Developing principals’ knowledge and capacity to lead high-quality programs is critical to the long-term success of Linked Learning. However, it can be a challenge for district leaders to determine how to provide resources to support principal learning.
This brief identifies five lessons for district leaders that are drawn from a series of Linked Learning principal meetings that occurred within one district. The authors show how particular features of the meetings contributed to principals’ learning and afforded opportunities for the district to act strategically to better assist their principals.
This brief is part of SCOPE's Professional Learning for Linked Learning Series.
All Linked Learning pathway teachers need to understand the specific knowledge and skills students will need to perform industry-sector jobs. However, not all pathway teachers have this knowledge, nor do they always know how particular discipline content is used within an industry.
In the brief, "The District Office as a Site for Work-Based Learning," Ann Jaquith and Jamie Johnston describe an approach to teachers’ professional learning that can develop and/or enrich the distinctive aspects of Linked Learning pathways. Drawing from ongoing work in California’s Montebello Unified School District (MUSD), the authors show how district and school leaders can help core teachers better understand career-relevant knowledge and skills, and encourage CTE teachers to collaborate with their colleagues.
This brief describes how a graduate profile can be utilized in Linked Learning pathways as a multi-faceted strategy for bringing coherence, clarity, and focus to practitioners and leaders at all levels of the system. Used strategically, the graduate profile can help in aligning school practices, district goals, state policies, and national standards.